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We are Open!

Do you consider SAP technologies being proprietary? Well, of course, there are several famous homegrown technologies inside SAP systems. But now, with SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment available to you, it is about time you get used to the key message: SAP is Open.

Experience this changed face of SAP!  

You could read a publication like SAP Drives Open Standards to Simplify Enterprise SOA to understand how seriously SAP is pushing key standards and techniques. Also take a look at an exhaustive list of TechEd sessions labeled “SAP is Open” … But if you needed more proof, in the following I highlight selected and important “vendor lock free” capabilities of SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (CE) 7.1.

 

Here comes an outline:

CE is Open

 

You know these logos very well?  Well, if you are interested in a brief introduction, you can skip the rest of the blog (apparently, using standards decreases a learning curve …). For details and hints, continue reading:

Enterprise-scale Java EE 5 Server

At the heart of CE is a robust, enterprise-class Java EE 5-compliant application server. You are more than welcome to give the Java EE 5 standard a test drive using NW CE as a runtime. Share your questions and feedback in the Java Development on SDN.

 

The terms “robust” and “enterprise-class” are not just flowery phrases here. For example, SAP has helped in porting of a popular benchmark SPECjAppServer2004 (for measuring performance of J2EE application servers) to Java EE 5 and monitored Java EE frameworks from the very early beginning of their implementation.

 

Another example: Database access is crucial for enterprise systems. SAP understands and controls the related Java EE technology: CE contains a Java Persistence API (JPA) implementation completely made by SAP. Enjoy the series of excellent tutorials on using JPA on SAP NetWeaver written by the developers of the JPA framework in person. You find them in the Articles section of the Java EE 5 corner in SDN.   

 

By the way, the Java EE 5 preview software (the predecessor of the current download, here you find (Just About) Everything You Wanted To Know About the Java EE 5 Application Server) has become the most popular download in SDN’s history! SAP got great feedback for its very early Java EE 5 implementation. And the message wasn’t lost on the analysts – you could view the publication “SAP Announces Java EE 5 Compatibility Ahead of Main Rivals …”, of Gartner for example.

 

What about existing J2EE 1.4 apps?

 

By the way, being a Java EE 5-certified server, CE runs J2EE 1.4 compliant applications as well. This is a quite important aspect, because, as of today, the mainstream of productive J2EE systems is J2EE 1.4-compatible systems. A lot of SAP customers as well as independent software solution providers are facing the need to migrate their existing Java EE applications to the runtime platform of SAP.

 

J2EE 1.4 compliant applications feature a high level of portability. Start your migration project right now. To get support, again, check out the Java Development for help. Consider using the J2EE migration plug in for CE, developed to ease the generation of SAP descriptors during your migration project. It is available for free, for details see:

Podcast Community Update: Markus and Java Migration

 

Now you can switch to the Yes, We Are Open – Part 2 where I tell you some details about SAP’s commitment to Eclipse and Open Source, introduce SAP JVM and outstanding memory tools, point at a “J2EE only” configuration option of CE and many more!

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7 Comments

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    1. Katarzyna Fecht Post author
      Hello Guido,
      thanks for your reply,

      indeed, CE is designed to consume ABAB-based services – in a standard way. “WSDL” and “enterprise SOA” are the key words and you find exhaustive information on SDN. I think that
      Web Services-Based Connectivity
      and
      https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/enterprisesoa
      are a good start-up.

      Another way to openness is that you can access SAP interfaces from scripting languages (PHP/Ruby/Python …) using SAP Scripting Tool,
      See for example
      https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/591c31cf-0d01-0010-8ab7-a1f7d032a66c

      What about attending this year’s TechEd – many sessions cover enterprise soa and scripting:

      https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/sapteched.   

      All the best, Katarzyna

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  1. Lakshminarayanan V
    Hi

    I have worked on 2004, 2004s and now CE. Of all obviously CE looks exciting and flashy. WebDynpro in CE is far better than ever before, hats off to the CE team. You have responded to the User needs ;-). A question: Guess EP on CE AS is on way, but will it be as flashy? Will AJAX be introduced in the Portal? Everyone would long for a AJAX based portal, would be even more presentable then. Thanks.

    regards

    LNV

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  2. Rick Bullotta
    The reality (and this is not unique to SAP NW CE), is that there are plenty of proprietary aspects to most application servers that force ISV’s to write separate versions of their applications that run on the different app servers.

    NW’s logging, UME, administration, packaging/deployment models, and other elements are examples of vendor-specific (but essential) services.  Also, UI technologies such as JSP, applets, and so on, while “supported” and “open”, are certainly discouraged in lieu of vendor-specific technologies such as WebDynpro.

    While an ISV could certainly use open-source logging and other infrastructure to provide similar services/functionality, from what I understand, it wouldn’t meet certification requirements, so it is somewhat of a catch-22 for ISVs.

    I welcome your thoughts on these topics!

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    1. Katarzyna Fecht Post author
      Hello Rick,

      Yes, you are totally right, Java EE does not standardize several key aspects (and I would say, your comment perfectly complements my text 🙂 yet I hope it is on the way. Fortunately, the Java EE 5 release makes it obsolete to write proprietary JNDI code for example …

      Well, how can we serve the portable enterprise programming in Java best? What we do is:  
      – We co-drive the Java EE and other enterprise standards so that they cover more and more aspects.  
      – We support you in using popular techniques on top of our Java app server – try and post your feedback. 
      – We tell you how to solve common issues: Take a look at the tutorials for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 at https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/webcontent/uuid/e081a4b6-0801-0010-7fa4-c3c7a0454815, we currently work on providing similar ones for NWCE.

      Any suggestions?  What kind of information do you need?  

      Best regards, Katarzyna

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      1. Rick Bullotta
        Hi, Kataryzna.

        The challenge is that many of the technologies and approaches supported by the platform are frowned upon for direct use within SAP apps (JSP, JSF, servlets, non-JCA connectivity), and this creates tension/pressure when ISV’s build their solutions around these technologies.

        Perhaps one way to mitigate the perceived lock-in aspects is to provide some additional flexibility in the various certification process(es).

        I am (and have been) a huge supporter of this openness within SAP, and encourage you to keep up the good work!  Now if I could just convince you to ship Flex Builder preinstalled on the NW CE IDE, we’d have a lot to talk about… 😉

        Gruss,

        Rick

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    2. Peter Norris
      Nothing to stop anyone from using JSP on SAP WAS. We built an enterprise level ecommerce application using JSF. Admittedly the J2EE 1.3 constraint of WAS7 and earlier was a minor annoyance but that problem appears to have been resolved.

      If look and feel is not a primary concern webdynpro is light years faster for developing UI’s than any other framework I’ve evaluated.

      As for vendor specific services suitable use of configurable adaptors can mitigate against portability issues. We’ve utilized SAP logging for example while maintaining compatibility with Log4J.

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